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Favourite quotes from Dune


Dunenewt

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One of my favourites:

"Many elements of the Imperium believe they hold the ultimate power: the Spacing

Guild with their monopoly on interstellar travel, CHOAM with its economic

stranglehold, the Bene Gesserit with their secrets, the Mentats with their

control of mental processes, House Corrino with their throne, the Great and

Minor Houses of the Landsraad with their extensive holdings. Woe to us on the

day that one of those factions decides to prove the point."

-COUNT HASIMIR FENRING,

Dispatches from Arrakis

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Oh, I've got lots of them.

To know a thing well, know its limits. Only when pushed beyond its tolerances will true nature be seen.

- The Amtal Rule

Ultimately, all things are known because you want to believe you know.

- Zensunni koan

Uproot your questions from their ground and the dangling roots will be seen. More questions!

- Mentat Zensufi

Answers are a perilous grip on the universe. They can appear sensible yet explain nothing.

- The Zensunni Whip

Assumptions built on ideas of "understanding" assail us from all sides. Such assumptions place a faith in words stronger than that promoted by organized religions. It is a faith seldom questioned. The very act of saying that things exist that cannot be described shakes a universe where words and the systems of transmitting them are the ultimate god.

- The Zensunni Warning

Education is no substitute for intelligence. That elusive quality is defined only in part by puzzle-solving ability. It is in the creation of new puzzles reflecting what your senses report that you round out the definition.

-Mentat Text One (decto)

The mind imposes this framework which it calls 'reality'. That arbitrary framework has a tendency to be quite independent of what your senses report.

- Paul Muad'Dib

MEMORIES ARE NOT ENOUGH UNLESS THEY CALL YOU TO NOBLE PURPOSE!

- The words of the God Emperor at Sietch Tabr

Anything can be a tool - poverty, war. War is useful because it is effective in so many areas. It stimulates the metabolism. It enforces government. It diffuses genetic strains. It possesses a vitality such as nothing else in the universe. Only those who recognize the value of war and exercise it have any degree of self-determination.

- Bijaz of the Tleilaxu

The trouble with some kinds of warfare (and be certain the Tyrant knew this, because it is implicit in his lesson) is that they destroy all moral decency in susceptible types. Warfare of these kinds will dump the destroyed survivors back into an innocent population that is incapable of even imagining what such returned soldiers might do.

- Teachings of the Golden Path, Bene Gesserit Archives

And one of my recent favourites:

Leto said: "[...] You know, Moneo, once tens of thousands of years ago when I was another person, I made a mistake."

"You, a mistake?" Malky mocked.

Leto merely smiled. "My mistake was compounded by the beautiful way in which I expressed it."

"Tricks with words," Malky taunted.

"Indeed! This is what I said: 'The present is distraction; the future a dream; only memory can unlock the meaning of life.' Aren't those beautiful words, Malky?"

"Exquisite, old worm."

Moneo put a hand over his mouth.

"But my words were a foolish lie," Leto said. "I knew it at the time, but I was infatuated with the beautiful words. No - memory unlocks no meanings. Without anguish of the spirit, which is a wordless experience, there are no meanings anywhere."

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  • 3 weeks later...

I keep thinking these two have a strong connection:

The trouble with some kinds of warfare (and be certain the Tyrant knew this, because it is implicit in his lesson) is that they destroy all moral decency in susceptible types. Warfare of these kinds will dump the destroyed survivors back into an innocent population that is incapable of even imagining what such returned soldiers might do.

- Teachings of the Golden Path, Bene Gesserit Archives

WHAT IS SURVIVAL IF YOU DO NOT SURVIVE WHOLE?

- Leto II's inscription at Sietch Tabr.

Although the most obvious meaning of the second quote is that the Bene Tleilax have lost their humanity (just as probably the Honored Matres did at some point), I think it also has deeper implications. Our world had been profoundly shattered in the 20 century, by the unprecedentedly disastrous wars in the first place, and the question remains, have we managed to survive whole?

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